Excuses are easy. You can convince yourself that you don't have the time, money, energy, or skills to do something. And as Henry Ford mentioned, "Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right." We all have passions, hopes, and desires, but it can be hard to find the strength to act upon them. To live the life you want, the life that's important to you.
Tomorrow morning I'm heading to the Dominican Republic on a service learning trip. We'll be learning about the healthcare system and challenges faced by people living there. We'll be building gardens and installing water filtration systems for families impacted by HIV/AIDS, and will be providing nutrition education lectures and other services to promote health and well being. As an MPH student, it is thrilling to be able to do something with my degree, to go out into the world and really make a difference. I've traveled before but have never felt that I've contributed anything significant. I've always been interested in different cultures and lifestyles but have never had the opportunity to truly step out of my comfort zone and learn firsthand about life outside of my safety bubble. This is my chance. Tomorrow I'm fulfilling a dream. I'm living the life I want. It's definitely scary. There will be challenges. But I know that the experience will enrich me and help me grow as a person. Instead of saying I'd like to help out "someday," I'm doing something "now."
It can take time to find the strength within yourself. To find your passions and follow that inner drive. One of the hardest things in life is to live in the present moment. It's something I've struggled with for a long time. Valerie Harper asks, "If you're not here now, where the hell are you?" She also says, "Don't let your fear today rob you of a fun life."
Move past the things that held you back in the past. Don't fret about what's to come in the future. Enjoy life now and do the things that are important to you.
I'm pretty sure I watched The Music Man as a kid, but I hardly remember it. That said, after finding this quote, it's definitely on my list of films to watch. I'll leave you with this:
"You pile up enough tomorrows, and you'll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays. I don't know about you, but I'd like to make today worth remembering."